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Digital downloads and video streaming up, as DVD/Blu-ray sales fall

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1

In a further sign that we're watching more films via streaming or digital downloads, spending on digital viewing rose 18% in the first half of the year, according to the British Video Association (BVA).

But this rise wasn't sufficient to offset the decline in sales of DVD and Blu-ray discs.

Despite the success of big titles such as The King's Speech and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 – they sold 1.2 million and two million discs respectivelythey failed to halt a 5.7% fall in revenue to just over £1bn for the UK video sector.

Total sales of DVD and Blu-ray discs dropped 8.1% in the first half of the year.

"The first half has been a bit of rollercoaster, with wallets and purses squeezed, but despite that people still found more than £1bn to spend on video entertainment, the vast majority on physical formats," says BVA director general, Lavinia Carey.

"Digital is growing and has huge potential with the growth of internet-connected devices such as smartphones and tablets now an accepted norm for video viewing."

The report described the fall in total sales to £1.012bn as a "steady" performance in light of the tough economic environment.

The BVA adds that there are now 44 legal services in the UK on which consumers can download or stream video content.

The Top 10 titles sold on DVD and Blu-ray were:

1. Harry Potter – The Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Warner Home Video) – sold more than 2m

2. The King's Speech (Momentum) – more than 1.2m

3. Despicable Me (Universal Pictures) – 854,000

4. Paul (Universal Pictures) – 593,000

5. Inception (Warner Home Video) – 511,000

6. Tangled (Walt Disney) – 507,000

7. The Hangover (Warner Home Video) – 418,000

8. Taken (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment) – 415,000

9. Due Date (Warner Home Video) – 347,000

10. Grown Ups (Sony Pictures) – 223,000

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.